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  • In the late 16th Century, in the Court of Philip II, the House of Alba is fighting to regain the Kings favour and displace the rival faction of the House of Mendoza, led by the Princess of Éboli. On the night of Easter Monday, 1578, paid assassins ambush Juan de Escobedo and kill him. Mateo Vázquez, a priest and incorruptible official in the Kings service, is charged with the investigation of his murder. The Duke of Alba, who, despite his 71 years, has not lost a whit of his legendary energy and vigour, has for some time been relegated to a lesser role in the Court, due to the growing power of the Kings most influential secretary, Prime Minister Antonio Pérez. The situation in Flanders, under the command of the Kings charismatic illegitimate half-brother, is extremely delicate. On one hand, William of Orange, and, on the other, England and the still dormant Protestant heresy make the Low Countries an inhospitable place which is in constant conflict and where those who possess privileged information can acquire immense fortunes. John of Austria has sent his personal secretary, Juan de Escobedo, to intercede before the King, Philip II. Juan de Escobedo, presumptuous and arrogant, has returned to El Escorial on a mission to demand money from Philip II to finance the liberation of Mary, Queen of Scots, and thus begin a new royal line by marrying her to John of Austria. As chance would have it, Escobedo witnesses the murky and passionate romance between Ana de Mendoza, Princess of Éboli, whose extraordinary beauty is as dangerous as her ambition and difficult to resist, with Prime Minister Antonio Pérez. In addition, he also learns of their plan to block the sending of any aid to the Flemish territories, since that would harm their financial interests. From that moment on, Juan de Escobedo becomes the target of a series of failed attempts on his life.........

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